All posts by Randy Russon

Election aftermath overview

September 26, 2021

Justin Trudeau and Terry Sheehan sit together

It may rightfully be stated that Sault Ste. Marie came within less than 250 votes of potentially shooting itself in the foot at the recent federal election.

That is because Conservative challenger Sonny Spina came oh so close to unseating Liberal incumbent Terry Sheehan. And had Spina prevailed, the Sault would have been on the outside looking in given that Canada re-elected Justin Trudeau of the Liberals as Prime Minister for what is now a third term.

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Fixated by football

September 7, 2021

Okay football fans, here we go. Are you ready for some nonsense?

A mind altering obsession with millions across North America including thousands in good, old Sault Ste. Marie, the National Football League begins the 2021 regular season this week.

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A wish list for the Sault

August 9, 2021

I love this town. I really do. When people trash the Sault, I invariably defend it to the hilt, even if the criticism is warranted.

Having said that, I do have a wish list for the betterment of the Sault.

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Patio bars back in business

June 14, 2021

As Ontario partially reopened on June 11 under what the provincial government is calling the ‘first phase’, a number of licensed patio bars in the Sault’s downtown were happening places.

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Northern Superior patio bar

June 12, 2021

The final touches are being put on the new Northern Superior Brewing patio bar, with its picturesque surroundings.

A newly designed patio bar is coming to the downtown area of the Sault.

Northern Superior Brewing Co., which has property aplenty on lower Pim Street adjacent to the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, plans on having its patio bar open next week.

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More downtown patio bars!

May 26, 2021

Ready and set to go at the Whisky Barrel.

There is much anticipation relative to the phased reopening of Ontario’s food and beverage industry that includes outdoor patio bars.

And as many of us in the Sault are looking forward to the planned, long-anticipated opening of outdoor patio bar season beginning the week of June 13, the downtown area along Queen Street and beyond will feature a multitude of open air, licensed dining establishments.

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Lindsay in the air chair

May 14, 2021

Lindsay Ellis of local radio station Eagle 95.1

There is another Ellis now spinning the timeless, endless classic hit tunes on local radio station Eagle 95.1.

Lindsay Ellis recently took over the 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. time slot on the Eagle. Her shift follows the 6-10 a.m. ‘Rise and Shine Morning Show’ that is hosted by her husband, long-time local radio personality Tim Ellis, aka Timmy E.

The Ellis’s have been local owners and operators of Eagle 95.1 for just over two and a half years.

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Phases and faces of radio

April 1, 2021

To declare or observe that radio has undergone consequential compression since I started in the business in 1975 would rank as an overplayed understatement.

From being live 24 hours a day, seven days a week in what was the golden age of radio for stations that were locally owned and operated, the industry has now subjected many who work in it do so in an almost robotic fashion while under the thumb of corporate control.

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High school will never be Dunn

March 21, 2021

The back of the Dunn that faced the football field.

The walls at the venerable high school on Wellington Street in the Sault’s east end came tumbling down several years ago.

But the long gone walls and hallowed halls still speak their own language and Sir James Dunn Collegiate remains alive in the memory bank for many who attended the school at any point from its opening in 1957 to its close in 2010.

If you went to SJD and enjoyed any part of your experience there for any length of time, chances are good that high school will never be Dunn in your mind, memory or heart.

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Hard working, top producing

January 26, 2021

As a defenseman of moderate skill, it was his work ethic and honest, hard-driven approach to the game that led John Glavota to a professional hockey career that included a decade on the international stage.

It is those same traits that have helped to make the 44-year old Glavota the top producing real estate agent in Sault Ste. Marie.

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Eagle on air, everywhere

January 22, 2021

It spins the classic music hits that are endless in time.

With an impressive music library that is without peer, Sault radio station Eagle 95.1 also reaches an on-line audience with a crisp, clear sound via

And the Eagle also has more — besides music — to offer with day long weather updates and a local sports presence.

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Trying to stay positive but …

January 13, 2021

I try to be positive as it relates to what I like, support and am a part of in any way.

For instance, I try to focus on and support what is positive relative to the Sault’s downtown and surrounding area and their many good features, including small business.

And when it comes to a favourite amateur sport, I always aim to promote and feature minor hockey and junior hockey in the north, along with the kids who play it and the coaches who mentor the players.

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Good nation of local radio

January 8, 2021

It came as good news to hear — a mere month after being unceremoniously ousted by Country 104.3 after 30 plus years in the air chair — that good guy Jeff McNeice has a new gig on rival local radio station Country 105.5.

At any rate, the forced, short-lived exile of McNeice brought two things to mind. As in, what was Country 104.3 thinking when it moved on from McNeice and, the restless hands of time have yet to pass by a local radio nation of announcers.

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Follow the rules

January 7, 2021

Okay, so maybe it isn’t the news we wanted to hear — that the January 23 southern Ontario lock down date relative to COVID-19 now applies to northern Ontario.

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RIP, Uncle Joe

December 20, 2020

Uncle Joe

Italian soccer has lost one of its biggest, best and most ardent supporters.

And our family has lost a real character and such a good person.

My uncle Joe DeSimone passed away the other day at the good, old age of 89.

A simple man and an Italian immigrant, he loved to cook for family and take care of all of us, albeit in a manner that was, um, gruff and grouchy at times.

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Angry Joe rocks Reggie’s

December 14, 2020

Angry Joe put on a show. (photo by Mary Desimone)

Joltin’ Joe Della Savia returned to the stage in a big way on the weekend and rocked it at Reggie’s Place Tavern in the Sault’s downtown.

The current rendition of Angry Joe and the Growlers, featuring the always-entertaining Della Savia as lead singer, along with fellow guitarists Ron McLean and Marcel VanLandeghem and drummer Chuck Gassi, stole the show at Reggie’s with an array of well-performed classic hits from the 1960s and 1970s.

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A favourite teacher, coach

December 13, 2020

RIP, Mr. McNally

There were a few teachers from my elementary school days, first at Holy Angel, then at St. Mark, who will always be ultimate favourites of mine.

And one of them, Mr. Larry McNally, happened to be my teacher at both Holy Angel and St. Mark.

He was also my softball coach at both schools.

I loved him as a teacher and a coach. And my fondness for him carried on when I became an adult and got to know him even more.

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Big addition to downtown

December 7, 2020

What a boost this is for our fair city — especially a core area that is in growing stages of a much-needed comeback.

A venerable building in the Sault’s downtown has been turned into a multi-purpose store with the new Queenstown Drug Mart as the flagship of what can be termed a major new investment by local entrepreneur Joseph Greco and his partners.

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‘Tis the season at Broers

December 1, 2020

The cozy, comfy, intimate wine bar that is Broers Jansen is all decorated for the Christmas season.

A popular, people-friendly establishment, located in the Sault’s downtown , Broers Jansen is a local, family-owned-and-operated small business that defines inimitable.

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Jim McAuley, such a nice man

November 22, 2020

Jim McAuley

He defined kindness and generosity with a trademark, friendly smile and the warmest of hearts.

A much respected, benevolent gentleman who was well known and well liked, he shunned the limelight even though he was so active in the community as a businessman, volunteer and philanthropist.

He had a love for dogs and a soft heart for the less fortunate and he gave so much in so many ways and asked for nothing in return.

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Reggie’s revving up karaoke

November 16, 2020

The karaoke machine is returning to Reggie’s Place Tavern in the Sault’s downtown.

Randy Lapossie, who along with his wife Kylie took over operation of Reggie’s Downtown on September 1 of this year, confirmed that karaoke will be a Thursday feature from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. beginning this week.

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45 years ago this month …

October 21, 2020

October is a month of significance for me.

I was born in October of 1952 and will soon turn 68.

And in October of 1975 — 45 years ago — I began my media career as a $3 an hour, part time sportscaster at local radio station CKCY.

I was hired in a rather unusual manner. That is, CKCY news and sports director Paul Leonard gave me the job over several glasses of draught beer at the Algoma Hotel, which was located beside Memorial Gardens, across from the radio station, in the Sault’s downtown.

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Fall into winter at Mane St.

October 13, 2020

Krista Nolan, who owns and operates Mane Street Cafe in the Sault’s downtown, has outlined plans for her neat, tidy and comfortable little eatery as fall heads towards winter.

Besides offering $5 pints of draught beer and $7 glasses of seven ounce wine, Nolan tells Sault Business Matters that she plans “to keep a storefront patio of some sort through most of the winter.”

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Jacobs teams with Turco

October 7, 2020

Marty Turco, and his wife Kelly, at Mane St. Cafe’s outdoor patio, this past summer, enjoying a few Kingsville Brewing products. (Photo by Mary Desimone.)

This has Sault Ste. Marie pride and stardom written all over it.

That is, Kingsville Brewing Company has confirmed a partnership with Canadian and world curling icons, the Team Jacobs rink from the Sault.

The other side of the Sault connection is 45-year old Marty Turco, who is a part owner of Kingsville Brewing and a former National Hockey League and Canadian Olympic standout goalie of many years who also backstopped the University of Michigan Wolverines to a pair of national championships.

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Fall market vendors

October 1, 2020

Great Lakes Crates, one of the vendors

The resolve was evident in the number of people who took part as supporters and vendors.

To be sure, it was a nice local feeling as part of a (sort of) nice fall day in the Sault’s downtown.

That is, in partnership with the local Downtown Association, the Sault Ste. Marie Museum held what it called a Culture Days Fall Market.

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Missing high school hoopla

September 27, 2020

If there is a participation or experience that I miss at this time of year it is being a community volunteer as a basketball coach.

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Reggie’s off to a good start

September 22, 2020

It is an old bar with a new beginning.

Reggie’s Place Tavern recently re-opened in the Sault’s downtown under new management.

The husband and wife tandem of Randy Lapossie and Kylie Lapossie opened the doors to Reggie’s on September 1 as the new operators after the iconic downtown bar had been closed for most of the past three years.

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Here’s to you, Ron Irwin

September 16, 2020

Sault Ste. Marie has recognized a long-time local politician by renaming City Hall as the Ronald A. Irwin Civic Centre.

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Boosting the downtown

September 14, 2020

Mane St. Cafe’s patio bar

There is collective effort being made to sustain and maintain business.

Any good city needs a thriving downtown and the Sault is no exception.

Issues remain — issues that might be resolved with more police presence at night and more support from local government — but the Sault’s downtown has businesses new and old that are more than doing their part to keep the area going.

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